CSU chemistry department awarded $4.4M grant to make drug production cheaper and safer

By: InnovatioNews Friday September 27, 2013 0 comments Tags: Anthony Rappe, CSU, Eric Ferreira, Fort Collins, Jan Nerger, Matt Shores, Niels Damrauer, Tom Rovis

FORT COLLINS - Colorado State University's Chemistry Department has been awarded a $4.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency to complete a study that could revolutionize pharmaceutical production by making it cheaper, safer and more sustainable, CSU announced.

The grant is one of four awarded nationally from nearly 60 proposals. The four-year grant will support up to 15 postdoctoral associates, undergraduate and graduate students as well as postdoctoral researchers each year.

Led by chemistry professor Anthony Rappe, the research will investigate whether Earth-abundant materials such as iron and titanium - when exposed to sunlight - can provide chemical reactions needed to create certain pharmaceuticals.

Colorado State University Fort Collins Colorado logo"This is an exciting project that brings together an impressive team of scholars that includes professors Matt Shores, Eric Ferreira and Tom Rovis from CSU, and professor Niels Damrauer from the University of Colorado Boulder," said Jan Nerger, dean of the College of Natural Sciences.

"We want to provide a sustainable future for our children, but this can't be accomplished just by cutting back," said Rappe. "We as a society need our life-saving pharmaceuticals. We just need them discovered and produced in an environmentally conscious way."

The team hypothesizes that these chemical structures can be produced using sunlight and Earth-abundant catalysts. If possible, a wide range of pharmaceuticals can be manufactured using less energy and producing fewer by-products.

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